Outstanding Student Awards

The Department of Biology is pleased to present the annual Outstanding Student Awards.  These awards honor students who have shown considerable promise and exceptional performance in the areas of (i) ecology, (ii) evolutionary biology, or (iii) cellular & molecular biology.  Students are presented with these awards at the annual College of Humanities and Sciences Award Ceremony.

In addition, the Department of Biology also honors one graduating senior each spring based on the student's academic prowess, research experience, and service to VCU and the community.

Finally, the biology department recognizes the extraordinary efforts and contributions of one graduate student each year who serves as a teaching assistant in a biology course.

For more information regarding any of these awards, email the Biology Awards Committee at biology@vcu.edu

As one of our senior biology majors, you are eligible to be considered for the Department of Biology’s Outstanding Senior Award. This award will be presented to a senior who will be graduating in May 2017 (i.e., you must have completed Graduation Check Out and submitted your graduation application). The award includes a gift and the addition of the recipient's name to the departmental awards plaque, which is located on the first floor of the Trani Center for Life Sciences.

Selection of this year's recipient will be based on the following criteria:

  • Cumulative GPA
  • Courses taken and total credits earned
  • Research experience (e.g., publications, presentations at meetings, funding)
  • Honors (e.g., awards or participation in Honors college)
  • Service to VCU - including the Biology department and the community
  • Quality of the application essay
  • Strength of the letter of recommendation from a faculty member in the Biology department.

If you wish to apply, you will need to provide the following information:

  1. Resume (2 page max). Include information relevant to items (c)-(e) above, your career goals, your expected graduation date, and any other information that you consider pertinent.  Also include your local mailing address and your email address.
  2. Personal Statement/Essay (2 page max) in which you respond to the following questions:
    - What motivated you to complete an undergraduate major in biology?
    - Following your graduation from VCU, what do you anticipate doing with your biology major (short term and/or long term)?
    -In the future endeavors, what do you feel will be the value of your experiences as a biology major at VCU?
  3. Copy of your academic record available through eServices (i.e., PDF or unofficial VCU transcripts).
  4. Please also arrange for a letter of recommendation to be sent to battistellij@vcu.edu.

Application materials must be submitted via email (battistellij@vcu.edu) no later than midnight on April, 7 2017. No late applications will be considered. Please merge all files into one pdf document before sending. Only electronic submissions will be considered. Selection of the recipient will be made in March. Formal presentation of this award will occur at the College of Humanities and Sciences Award Ceremony in April.

2018 Winners

  • Sarah Ingram, Outstanding Biology Graduate Teaching Assistant Award
  • Benjamin Nettleton, Outstanding Biology Masters Student in Ecology
  • Farahnoz Khojayori, Outstanding Biology Masters Student in Evolution
  • Joseph Brown, Outstanding Biology PhD Student in Ecology
  • Rohan Kankaria, Outstanding Biology Senior Award
  • Nitika Gupta, Outstanding Biology Undergraduate Student in Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Emma Davis, Outstanding Biology Undergraduate Student in Ecology
  • Heather Caslin, Outstanding PhD Student in Cellular and Molecular Biology